"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows"

Aristotle Onassis

Meeting: September 6, 2017: A frank discussion on the state of Ukraine's energy markets

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club addressed the topic of:


"A frank discussion on the state of Ukraine's energy markets"


And took place on Wednesday September 6 2017, 4-8pm @ TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040


With special guest speakers:

Roman OpimakhRoman Opimakh

Executive Director,

Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine








Dr Aleksey JakubinDr Aleksey Jakubin

Ukrainian political scientist










Here in Brussels, we tend to get the pretty standard narrative about the Ukrainian energy market these days. The gas market is being liberalised in line with EU rules and values, the country's energy independence will be beefed up by reverse flow gas supplies from EU countries, and Russian gas transit through Ukraine needs to be maintained for keeps. Ukraine is on course to meet its reform commitments under the Energy Community Treaty and Naftogaz is already being unbundled under reform-minded, pro-Western management. Whilst we have heard it all before, old hands with the Ukrainian energy markets realise that the story is not as straight forward as eating vareniki and salo. Nor is the story all purely of one dimension.

While we in Brussels tend to equate Ukraine's energy independence with diversification of the gas supply, others equate it more to realising the country's massive resource potential. In fact we have held a debate in the BREC format in years previous as to what energy independence, or self-reliance, really means for Ukraine. Those debates, however, failed to identify the preconditions that the country needs to meet in order to realise its potential as a gas producer. 

Thus, in this BREC meeting, we took a closer look as to what needs to be done in order to achieve energy self-reliance objectives in Ukraine, with a particular focus on investment and technologies. As regards to the gas markets, we reviewed the results of the main trends in Ukrainian domestic gas production in H1 2017 and examined the challenges that continue to stand in the way of production enhancement.

Further, we took stock of the political dimension of the Ukrainian energy sector following the recent upheavals in the country. We considered energy and geopolitics in the Ukrainian popular mind-set as well as expert views of the subject matter. We examined the roles of the key players in the country's political landscape and explored their interconnected strategies and interests towards the gas sector. Is there a connection between Ukraine's oligarchs, key political figures, the gas markets and energy independence, one might ask?  Several scenarios for Ukraine's energy markets ensued from the debate, as the next BREC session delved deep into a frank discussion about the state of Ukraine's energy markets.


Program September 6, 2017: 16.00 — 20.00: 

  • Arrival of members and guests leading into welcome cocktail   
  • Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Initiator and Founder, Brussels Energy Club,
  • Presentation by Roman Opimakh
  • Presentation by Aleksey Jakubin  
  • Roundtable discussion with meeting participants (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).
  • Our traditional networking reception with gala buffet will follow the main discussions


Speaker information

Roman Opimakh runs the Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine, an entity which brings together leading private and state-owned gas producing companies. These companies produce around 90% of Ukrainian natural gas (some 18 bcm per year), generate 6% of national GDP and provide 8% of the state's budget revenues. Prior to his work at the Association, Roman Opimakh was the advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine in the petroleum sector. At the same time, Roman was the head of the oil and gas division in the Office for Interaction of the President of Ukraine with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

From 2011 until 2014 Roman worked as a Coordinator for oil and gas at the Economic Reforms Center mandated by the President of Ukraine, where he supervised and participated in various energy projects. Prior to working with this institution, Roman was in charge of international cooperation in several Ukrainian private and government bodies. Roman graduated from the Kyiv Institute for International Relations at the Taras Shevchenko National University with a Master's degree. Later, Roman spent time in the United States as a H. Humphrey (Fulbright) fellow at Michigan State University.

Aleksey Jakubin is a Ukrainian political scientist, specializing in the contemporary history and politics of Ukraine, Russia and the EU, and the current political process in this region. He is one of the most prominent Ukrainian political commentators in terms of the domestic and international media; a member of the editorial board of "Commons: Journal for Social Criticism"; and a senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Aleksey has a PhD in Political Science from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He was a visiting lecturer in the European and Ukrainian contemporary political studies at Lomonosov State University, Moscow, in 2012-2013.


Further information 

Participation in the interactive discussion at TUSIAD venue will be free of charge for members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club. For more information please contact Ben McPherson on research@brusselsenergyclub.org.

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